How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health According to a Tampa, FL, Dentist

Can stress affect oral health? You may not realize it, but stress can cause lasting damage to your teeth and gums.

If you need a top-quality general dentist in Tampa, call the team at Westchase Smiles Institute. They can guide you through the steps to remedy oral problems caused by stress.

Mouth Ulcers

Ongoing stress compromises your immune system and can result in mouth ulcers, also called cold sores or canker sores. 

Mouth ulcers form on the lips and gums and can last up to two weeks. During that time, they are painful and may bleed. Once a mouth ulcer appears, the best thing to do is apply numbing medicine to reduce discomfort.

Reducing daily stress will prevent the likelihood of developing mouth ulcers. 

Dry Mouth 

Everyone experiences dry mouth for one reason or another. Dry mouth may have an innocent cause, like public speaking, or a more serious cause, such as chronic stress or anxiety. 

The purpose of saliva is to eliminate bacteria and clear away small particles of food in the mouth. When your mouth lacks an appropriate amount of saliva, you can develop tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum Disease

When chronic stress weakens your immune system, your body can’t fight off infection the way it should. During stressful life events, oral hygiene is low on the priority list. Poor oral hygiene habits open the door to oral infections.

Poor oral hygiene can have lasting negative effects, resulting in tooth loss. Prioritizing oral care in times of stress will prevent extensive damage to your teeth and gums.

Jaw Clenching

Can stress affect oral health? Your sore jaw says yes.

Jaw clenching is a silent assassin of your oral health and can happen when you feel stressed during the day or at night while you sleep. 

Clenching and grinding can cause headaches and may cause your teeth to wear away prematurely. Your teeth may even crack or chip due to jaw clenching. Your dentist can fit you for a mouth guard to prevent nighttime clenching and grinding.

Improving Oral Health

Brushing for just two minutes twice a day can do wonders for your oral health until your next dental cleaning.

Taking extra care to lower your stress through daily habits can help your oral and overall health. Some proven ways to lower stress include:

  • Keeping a journal.
  • Forming a regular exercise routine. 
  • Practicing daily meditation. 
  • Eating nourishing food.
  • Taking a yoga class.
  • Listening to your favorite song.
  • Confiding in a friend.

The best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is through regular dental care.  

Dentistry in Tampa, FL

Can stress affect oral health? It can in many different ways. The easiest way to begin restoring your oral health is learning how to brush your teeth effectively. The next step is to make an appointment for an oral evaluation.

Westchase Smiles Institute is here to provide gentle, effective dentistry. Contact the team to schedule an appointment.

If you prefer to speak to a team member please call (813) 920-9144

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Rachel Manzanares
Rachel Manzanares
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My father was in town for my sister's wedding and had one of his front fillings come out two days before the wedding. Dr. Cesar Chilmaza was able to get him last minute and did an amazing job. My father said that he did a better job fixing it than the original filling! Not only did he do a great job, he and his staff we so friendly and knowledgeable and did everything in their power to help take care of him. Thanks to Dr. Cesar my sister's wedding photos won't be a disaster!
Sheryl Hoffman
Sheryl Hoffman
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Cesar is amazingly kind and patient with my endless questions. I'm ridiculously terrified of the dentist and they somehow understand my fears while gently coaxing me to follow the treatment plan they recommend. They're also open evenings for those of us still working. Simply put, they're quite delightful!
Blakley Ann
Blakley Ann
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I highly recommend Westchase Smiles Institute. Dr. C is an amazing dentist who cares about his patients. The staff is welcoming and treats you like family.